Criterion and TCM are planning a Streaming Service

CriterionCinema has been changing over the last number of years, or rather, the way that we view movies at home has been changing. When I was first discovering my love of cinema, I had to go to a video store and carefully chose which film I wanted to rent, based on recommendations, reputation, and the director whose name was on the box.

The DVD & Blu-Ray drove the VHS market to extinction, piracy had a detrimental effect on the stores sales, and Netflix was the final nail in the coffin. Even big chain stores, such as Blockbuster, are now a thing of the past. Now many filmmakers are opting to release their film straight to streaming sites, or release their film simultaneously in cinemas and on video-on-demand. Times are changing.

In Tom Roston’s recent book, I Lost it at the Video Store, he stresses how employees at Video Stores were often cinephiles, and would stock the shelves with many of their favourite films, recommending them to customers.

Which brings us to today’s problem – Netflix has a substantial amount of bad films in its library. Even though you can now access its entire film library at home, you still have to sift through a lot of trash. Adam Sandler’s latest film, The Ridiculous 6, is the most watched film on Netflix, as well as one of the lowest rated.

Many streaming sites that have great libraries, such as Hulu, are not available outside of America.

Well, Criterion and TCM have just announced that they’re getting into the Streaming market, which means that both of their entire film catalogues will be streamable on their site.

If you haven’t heard of Criterion, they’re a fantastic company that find old, largely forgotten films, restore them to the highest quality possible, package them with a ton of special features, and sell them on their site. The only downside is that their DVD’s and Blu-Ray’s can be quite pricey, but this service would cut down the cost a great deal.

Criterion President Peter Becker had the following to say regarding the announcement:

“there’s a real gap in the marketplace for a genuinely robust, well-curated, supplementally rich streaming service for the kind of audience that has come to appreciate what both TCM and Criterion do. It’s sorely needed.”

I think this shows great potential. But what do you think of this announcement? Would you pay for a Streaming website curated by Criterion and TCM? Or are you content with Netflix?

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